Night Shift

Night Shift (1982)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Henry Winkler

Ron Howard’s 1982 comedy “Night Shift” has been released by Warner Home Video as one of their standard editions, containing a pan & scan transfer as well as a widescreen presentation that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The picture is clear enough, but it appears that the source print wasn’t cleaned up. The picture is quite dark at times and the colors are a bit washed out. The letterboxing appears accurate, as there is no warping of the frame and none of the action is cut off.

The disc’s 2-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack is surprisingly active, however the music is mixed much louder than the dialogue, so I found myself having to adjust the volume quite a bit. Speaking of the music, “Night Shift” contains a version of the Elton John, Stevie Wonder et al. hit “That’s What Friends Are For,” performed by Rod Stewart which predates the better-known version by several years.

After 17 years, I still consider “Night Shift” to one of Ron Howard’s best films. Apart from the morbid premise of setting up a brothel and run the business out of a morgue, it leads to many nutty adventures and a hilarious finale. The film also contains notable cameos by Kevin Costner, Shannon Doherty, Richard Belzer, Joe Spinell and Vincent Schiavelli. “Night Shift” is an enduring comedy that deserves to find a new audience.